William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock

For other people named William Waldegrave, see William Waldegrave (disambiguation).
William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock

Admiral Lord Radstock
Born (1753-07-09)9 July 1753
Died 20 August 1825(1825-08-20) (aged 72)
London, England
Allegiance United Kingdom United Kingdom
Service/branch Royal Navy
Years of service 17661802
Rank Admiral
Commands held HMS Zephyr
Awards Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath

William Waldegrave, 1st Baron Radstock, GCB (9 July 1753 20 August 1825) was the Governor of Newfoundland and an admiral in the Royal Navy.

Waldegrave was the second son of John Waldegrave, 3rd Earl Waldegrave and Elizabeth (née Gower). Joining the navy at age 13 in 1766, Waldegrave rose rapidly through the ranks, receiving his own command, the sloop HMS Zephyr in 1775, and being promoted to vice-admiral in 1795. He was the third in command on the British side at the Battle of Cape St Vincent in February 1797, and was offered a baronetcy for the role he played in the battle. Waldegrave declined the offer (on the grounds that as a son of an earl, he already held a higher station), and was appointed the Governor of Newfoundland, Saint-Pierre and Miquelon, on 16 May 1797.

During Waldegrave's time as governor, he was chiefly concerned with military matters, as a French squadron had burned Bay Bulls just a year prior, and Newfoundland was still quite exposed. Another key problem was desertion, as soldiers deserting to Newfoundland were generally sheltered by the island's inhabitants. A naval mutiny occurred shortly after Waldegrave's appointment and had to be stopped; Waldegrave also took steps to ensure that soldiers garrisoned in St. John's did not try anything similar. In military matters, he was often at odds with his commander, Lieutenant-Colonel Thomas Skinner.

Waldegrave made several attempts to restrict the power of the merchants on Newfoundland, and also to bring law and order to the island. Although his efforts against the merchants were largely ineffective, Waldegrave was successful in having a chief justice appointed who would reside year round. Waldegrave also undertook various humanitarian projects, especially to help the poor. He established a "Committee for the Relief of the Poor", and contributed generously to the fund. Between 1797 and 1798, nearly 300 people received assistance from this fund.

Waldegrave finished his term as governor in 1800 and was created an Irish peer as Baron Radstock, of Castletown in the Queen's County.[1] In 1802, upon his retirement Waldegrave was promoted to full admiral. In 1815 he was appointed a Knight Grand Cross of the Order of the Bath.


Waldegrave was married in 1785 to Cornelia Jacoba van Lennep (17 September 1753 10 October 1839). They had three sons and six daughters:

See also


Political offices
Preceded by
Sir James Wallace
Commodore Governor of Newfoundland
Succeeded by
Sir Charles Morice Pole
Peerage of Ireland
New creation Baron Radstock
Succeeded by
Granville Waldegrave
This article is issued from Wikipedia - version of the 11/26/2016. The text is available under the Creative Commons Attribution/Share Alike but additional terms may apply for the media files.